SHELBYVILLE, IN – Overture sang her song from wire to wire, leaving every foe in her wake as she cruised to victory in the Grade 3, $200,000 Indiana Oaks on Saturday.
Ridden by jockey Julien Leparoux on his 34th birthday, Overture fended off a strong field of eight 3-year-old fillies to capture her first career graded stakes victory.
Leading the field through fractions of :24.68, :49.63, 1:13.94, and 1:37.67, the pair maintained a 1-length lead over several foes, including I’mluckysgirl early, Majestic Quality, and Mopotism, before the Bill Mott trainee crossed the line in 1:43.79 for the 1 1/16-mile race.
“Yes, I was (surprised to be left alone up front),” Leparoux said. “I didn’t think I was even going to be on the lead. But they gave it to me, and I took it.”
Mopotism crossed in second, a 1/2-length ahead of Majestic Quality. It was another 4 1/2 lengths back to Awestruck, with Dutch Parrot, Wicked Lick, Stonetacular, and I’mluckysgirl completing the order of finish.
In her only other career win, a maiden-breaking effort at Gulfstream Park in April, Overture stalked the pace until the field exited the turn. In subsequent efforts, her connections experimented with front-running leads early, to no avail, so the plan was for her to sit off the pace again, unless the situation presented otherwise.
“We were surprised we ended up there in front,” said Kenny McCarthy, who oversees Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott’s Churchill Downs operation. “It looked like there might be a couple (others) that out-footed us, but Bill told me he’d told Julien that she leaves out of there good being in the 1 hole, go on and let her run a little bit. But I didn’t necessarily think we’d be on the lead.”
Overture’s share of $116,400 increased her career earnings to $169,080 with a record of 5-2-2-1.
Overture returned $27.20, $8.20, and $5. Mopotism brought back $2.80 and $2.20, while Majestic Quality paid $2.60 to show.